28 May, 2010

I am (once again) a packing genius

You know this already.
There is always a post about how close my bags are to being overweight and how I can finagle my way onto the plane without getting charged or forced to check a carry on bag that I didn't want to check.

Peoples, this upcoming trip home is by far the most challenging yet.

Because I have to take a WEDDING DRESS with me.

Ok. When I came here for Lucia, I had- a carry on, a checked bag, and my laptop bag.

Mostly winter/spring clothes, fancy clothes, stuff I would need to live out of a suitcase/hotel room for 5 weeks.

NOW I want to go back with : my summer clothes. Of which I have many many many cute dresses. None of them have been lugged over to Deutschland yet- because, I only moved there at the end of August and brought- autumn/winter clothes.

So now, I had to make a choice...my summer clothes, tennis rackets, summer shoes OR some of my summer clothes and some winter clothes.

Guess who won? SUMMER all the way, baby.

Oh yea, also I have 15 pounds of ceramic engagement presents wrapped in said clothes.

So we have- one checked bag weighing in at 48.9 pounds.
The second checked bag weighing in at 49.3 pounds.

And here's the kicker. Well, I know I'm only supposed to have 'a purse and a carry-on'.
But--what about the DRESS?

Whatever. I have a carry on sized bag that right now weighs 25 pounds (even though the limit is 17).
I also have a computer bag that will be bustin' out all over, because it's acting as my purse--with wallet, ipod, headphones, passports, ricola, and all other airplane-needs inside.

And then..the dress.
What will they say? I dunno.
Hopefully nothing. They'll understand that I need to get it overseas and deal with it.
OBVS I'm not CHECKING a dress!
But I mean, I suppose they COULD make me check my 'carry on' bag so that I am only 'holding' two things...

that would be a buzzkill for 90 bucks since then I'd rather just take a full sized suitcase and bring even MORE things!!

Wow, has this whole post really been about things I want to bring back to Frankfurt? YEP!

I still can't believe that in the basement of my parents house are FULL sets of furniture, dishes, lamps, files, music, ... EVERYTHING that I lived with in the US for the past 5 years... and then some-- all of my childhood favorite books, stuffed animals (YES, stuffed animals!!!), and things I always wanted to 'save for when I have a house'...well, that's fine and dandy, except that MOST LIKELY my house will be all the way across an ocean--and what are the odds the the Berenstein Bears and Doctor Seuss books will be chosen of.. oh, let's say- ALL OF MY OPERA SCORES?!?!

Pretty slim.

Well, I don't care. I'm keeping them. As long as the storage is free and my parents don't 'accidentally' sell them in a tag sale some summer weekend when they decide to stop harboring the bounty of their three children's collegiate lives in the basement.

So I do have to admit that while I don't know what will happen with my CARRY ON bag this time...my checked bags will make the weight limit and I managed to bring most of the fun things that I wanted to bring..

On Sunday my insane 4 days of travel begin.
First, take a train to NYC, then a train to Newark. Then a shuttle to the hotel at the airport.
Super early Monday morning- fly to TX for a concert.
Super early Tuesday morning- Sing.
Super early Wednesday morning- from from TX THROUGH NC back to Newark (if I don't make my 25 minute connection I'm potentially royally screwed), and Wed. afternoon- check into my overnight flight from Newark- and at 6pm- DEPART FOR HOOOOOME!

I have a lot of things to be thankful for in the production that I just finished, the opportunity that it gave me to sing one of my most challenging roles to date, to get to do a new production, try new things on stage, have really supportive and awesome colleagues and directors and conductors around me...
but in the end, there is no place like home :)

So here's hoping for safe and ON TIME travels in the next few days.

26 May, 2010

the countdown

In a week and a day I'll be home.
In between that time, I will have:
a dentist appointment, a caterer appointment, a dress pickup appointment, a meet with the jazz band appointment, a flight to the West, a concert, a flight back, an and an attempt to pass a 50.6 pound bag through the checked bag lane next week.

For the first appointment of today, I'm just hoping they don't keep bugging me about my wisdom teeth. Who has time to get their wisdom teeth out? I mean, REALLY?

Yes, I know, the xrays show that mine have been impacted BUT HAVEN"T MOVED from that position...for the past 10 years...
Yes, I know that every time I go they say I should have a consultation with the oral surgeon. No, I have not followed up.

But I don't want to be one of those people that has a horrible surgery at the age of 45 and a really bad recovery time. Or worse, to have the teeth actually start to move at a time when I CAN"T have the surgery.

The plus to them saying that I may need to get them out: I'll have to do it this summer in Deutschland--which means, once I get on a plan...that actually it shouldn't be as crazy expensive as it is in the US.
The minus-- I'll have to get it done in Deutschland...with no recommendations of people that don't mess up singer's mouths and lives forever!

Back to menu planning.

In musical news, I have approximately 25 days to learn 3 operetta songs that I signed up for in some competition...d'oh! Why did I DO that?
Ok, one of them I should already totally know, from Die Fledermaus.
But the other two I will most likely NEVER have to know ever again...which is not much motivation for learning the 3 verses of German and the 2 verses of French.

But I'll dooo eeeet!

23 May, 2010

it's all over!

Saturday night show, followed by Sunday matinee (no, it wasn't that painful even though waking up at 8am after only falling asleep at 2:30am was a bit rough), and it's ALL over! I've already boarded a plane, landed in NYC, planned my next week of packing frenzy, and am officially counting down to HOME!
It was an amazing experience..this role, this production, and what I had the chance to learn and do onstage.

More l8tr.
ciao for now...

21 May, 2010

opening niiiiiight

(please sing the title of this blog post as per the first few bars of The Producers. Thanks).

I warmed up about 2 hrs before the show, had a wrap for lunch, a banana an hour before curtain, drank a decent amt. of water, broke up one ricola into little shards of cough drop so that I could have something in my mouth before each entrance to stay hydrated, AND I felt like it went REALLY well.

Everyone was super happy with the performance, the friends, family, and production team lurved it, and I think I got to put my own special spin on this very exciting and challenging Lucia here.

Yayyy! Now to sleep, shut up for 24 hours, wash rinse and repeat on Saturday and Sunday.

20 May, 2010

it's the day of the show y'all..

Opening niiiiiiiiight.

I slept WELL! Shocking.
Turned the tv off somewhere between 12:30-1am, and FORGOT to turn my DANG alarm off from yesterday, so that went off at 8:30. Rolled around in bed and half-slept until 10.
I think that's pretty good!

Today's schedule:
Water, banana, Skype, workout (maybe swim laps instead of workout..that felt good), lunch with family that is in town, relax and shut up until my 6pm call.

Oh yea, write some cards and stuff, get there early and distribute said cards and candy and chocolate.

Oh yea, and run through the show in my head and warm up....riiiight. that too!


19 May, 2010

day before the show

I had t wake up early to do a local tv interview today.
Oh, local television, how I love thee.

First there was a local baker who taught us how to make pistaccio mascarpone frosting for cupcakes that were really mini-wedding cakes.
(cuz one of the anchor men guys is getting married this weekend).

Then there was an 80 year old reporter doing a story about new 'gifts and gadgets for dads and grads'. YES! the 80 year old was like- ipad? what? iwhaaat? netbook? what is that?

Then there was a guy talking about financial management and one of his 5 tips were "bundle"- meaning, your phone, your internet and your web. REALLY? did we NOT all do that in 2002? Thanks.
The other was "collect your documents" and then 'go paperless'! and he said it would be a bit trouble-some for the older viewers. NICE.

And then- me.
Talking about the opera, how I got into it, (after my affair with Musical Theater), and WHY should people come see an opera?

Well- among other things I said : Drama, emotion, blood, guts, love, hate..and teenage angst. So, hopefully I represented it well.

Watching the online clip is aalllllmost unbearable though. I feel like I make the silliest faces and non-symmetrical expressions...

Whatever, my family thinks it's good and they still all love me, right?

SO. Opening night tomorrow!
YES, I have slept like crap for 2 days. It's probably because of the early wake-up calls for the final dress and this interview.
I'm HOPING that I get a decent night's sleep tonight...even though, I know I'll be nervous.

What I want to do today:
Go over all my words, and dramatic action...speed-style and real-style.
But not sing probably.

I've already done my 3 miles on the elliptical, but I"m considering an evening laps in the pool session followed by some hot tubbing. Maybe that will help me relax.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I luvya, tomorrow, you're only a Daaaaay, Aaaaaa-Waaaayyyyyyy.....

18 May, 2010

final dress

Yes, I sang Lucia at 10am this morning.
Yes, I had the high F's and G's from the original keys plus my new awesome cadenzas.
Yes, it went WELLLLLLL!!!!

I am SO ridiculously tired right now that I can't even think straight. I don't want to check my email, facebook, the Times, or anything else. I just want to lie in my bed and curl into a little ball.

Of course, the reason is lack of good sleep. When I know I have to wake up at 7am, combined with having a 'show', that pretty much equals
1. not being able to FALL asleep until 2am
2. waking up every hour making sure that's not 7am yet.

DANG. That makes for one overtired coloraturaaah.

And of course, I have an early morning tv interview tomorrow (the bags under my eyes should be pleasant)...

So- once I get back on track with my sleep schedule (trying to avoid falling asleep right now, although feeling lousy and maybe going to stay in bed all night anyway)... hopefully everything will be great for Thursday evening.

Oh yea- ALSO- instead of doing my 2 or 3 miles yesterday, I swam laps for 25 minutes. That was interesting.
I actually feel THAT more in my muscles than any of my other gym days.

Even though I SHOULD go down there today, I think I deserve a day off today.
I mean, I did a SHOW, right?

16 May, 2010

almost orchestra dress

I can't really believe that we have tonight, Tuesday (MORNING! Yes, student matinee as our final dress), and then- OPENING.


That is K-razy.

Tonight in the final orchestra dress I would like to feel as comfortable as possible.
I'd like to spend some time in the next hour going through my score, trying to recall any specific notes that I've gotten about things to tweak, noting places where I know I need to focus more on something specifically musical or dramatic, and just...letting things settle before the run.

I am still stained red from the fake blood from yesterday's rehearsal. I guess it just may be like that for the next week.
Thinking about time is so strange for me right now...
In exactly one week, at this time, I will be about halfway into our last performance, bags packed and in the trunk of the car waiting to take me to the airport immediately after the show, catch my plane to ny, one week to get my life together, pack, unpack, etc. as usual, one more concert, and then- back home for the summer.

And...of course, while I"m doing the shows, I know that I will be thinking about nothing besides the show. There is nothing else in the world while I am on stage doing this...only what happens on stage.

And then just like that- you're out of there.

I was just going to write a bit about nerves, etc..but I think I'm just going to skip over that. Yes, I get nervous. Yes, sometimes I don't know what will happen because of it..but you know what? I've been doing really really great so far, and I love what is happening out there. Needing to think positively and not write any type of diatribe about what could possibly happen or what I'm thinking about...is better.
So- thinking positively.
Things are good. Better than good. I will physically and mentally be in control of my voice and everything that goes along with it for all of the performances.

Basta cosi.

15 May, 2010


I'm called to the theater in 2.5 hours for our piano dress. Yep, first time in costumes. That should be interesting.

And what have I done so far today?
Well, actually, I woke up around 9am, hung out in bed online until 11:30, went to the gym for 35 minutes--but only managed to do 2 miles cuz my sides started cramping up- what is UP with that? I thought I had conquered it! And now I barely got through 25 min. on the treadmill having to switch between jogging and speed walking for the whole thing. Bummer.

Did the situps and pushups...came back to my room...aaaaaand since then- have been watching design shows on hgtv.
I THINK it's safe to say that I want my own house or my own place or something that I get to decorate and build...and not be told that I can't put that up on the wall because of the hole it will create for the next tenant. buzzkill again.

Oh yea- and have I eaten or had anything to drink?
Nope. Will rectify that situation now, although I'm running out of food and may need to make a run for MORE wraps, turkey slices, cheese, and cherry tomatoes, my staple foods in the mini-fridge for the last 2.5 weeks.

I can't believe we open this week. I mean, actually I CAN. In a GOOD way.
I am excited for my family, for my friends to come see me in this large-and-in-charge role. I know I will be nervous. There is no doubt. But hopefully getting to entertain the people close to me and do what I love will alleviate the probable butterflies once I'm out there and know how many people are excited to be there for me.

Fun times.


Tonight was the first time we sang with orchestra. As opposed to a 'usual' wandel when you kind of go through the motions with few props, no changes, and no costumes, we were full on 'teching' at the same time...which was a bit confusing seeing as how we were mostly trying to find the sweet spots on stage and see if we could always catch the conductor's motions, and of course, get that flute cadenza to work! ha.

Anyway, it went well vocally. I never worry about cutting in an opera house...I just like to kind of get used to what I hear on the stage.
And in this hall- I can hear a bit of my own ring which is nice, in addition to a nice balance with the orchestra. I never feel like I have to push which is AMAZING. Much easier than singing at some more dead spaces.

So. Yay!
It wasn't much of an 'acting-heavy' day, although of course I still try to give as much as possible even with things thrown at me like- oh, first time doing that barefoot, oh, the downstage right tombstone was switched with the downstage left one, oh, this letter is not supposed to be sealed.
Just little curveballs that make me adjust and think on my feet and yes, sometimes distract.

Tomorrow- piano dress WITH costumes (omg finally)- this is going to be a hard show to navigate with floor length and body-hugging VINTAGE 30s dresses that I hope hope hope don't completely rip off of my body because they are so delicate.

Sunday- orchestra dress

And then it's almost time!

12 May, 2010

bye bye rehearsal room

Tonight we had the rehearsal for the designers and costumers, also known as the final room run.
I was feeling bla vocally due to the lingering crap in my throat, but pulled it together, warmed up, and gave it everything I had for the run.

Things to think about---
Regnava- This is the first piece, and as much as I want to ground myself, of course I know I'm going to get nervous. I have to remember the lowness, the grounding, and also mix that with the light youthful character I want to portray.

The Edgardo duet- When I get to verrano a te it's SUCH an exposed moment. Take my time, BREATHE, and make it seamless and calm.

The Enrico duet- The emotions feel SO good in this one. So heated. But I can't let it get to me. By the end of the duet I was like- OH- I'm LOUD and CRAZY and if I keep going I'm not going to have enough left for the mad scene.
But that was for like a split second and then I calmed down.

The sextet- all goes smoothly. I know what to accent, and it's actually very serene for me.

Aaaaand then the mad scene.

Find the arc. Live it. Don't think about what's coming up next or what passed. Be in the moment.
Concentrate on those 2 tag lines that are orchestra-less, and make sure the runs leading up to the next entrance are pitch perfect.

The flute cadenza- pacing through emotional content.
Watch the recap of verrano a te--that it doesn't get too 'white' sounding, although I'm trying to make it eery.

Spargi. Ok, yea, I'm tired. But it's still all there. If anything, with more energy. And it's almost over- so give it EVERYTHING.

Aaand that's about it!
I feel good. My voice feels fine (like, could I do this whole thing again at 2 pm tomorrow with the same energy? since I have to for our Saturday/Sunday matinee weekend?)
It feels good. I can dooooo eeeeet.

I like it. Now if I could only wash the fake blood off of my arms, shoulders, and legs. That stuff ends up everywhere!!!

One week and 2 days til the show y'all.

11 May, 2010


I was on the treadmill today-- walked for 5 minutes and then JOGGED until 3 miles at a pace of just under 11 minutes per mile.
That has not EVER happened.

No stopping, no heart palpitations, no side stitches.

I know, I know. It's not SUCH a big deal to people who actually know how to do this, enjoy doing it, and can do it WELL.

But I have always had problems running...and generally haven't liked it at all.
This wasn't SO bad.
30 minutes of my life that I didn't feel like I was panting for breath and wishing my sides wouldn't be curled up in pain...
and that's pretty ok.

Final room run tonight...
and a rehearsal for my mad scene costume which involves taking off a wedding dress while singing, and making sure the teensy weensy slip underneath it does not show what it's not supposed to show.

10 May, 2010

day off

It's a Monday and we have the day off.
Tomorrow- workthrough a few scenes in the afternoon, and then our final room run.

Let's leave that for a while and talk about the insane craptastic mucus that is currently sitting ON, right below, or right above my cords, and that I can neither swallow, cough out, or do anything about.

What is THAT about?

Allergies were horrid last week. Full blown congestion and cough...so I took an OTC antihistamine and also mucinex.

It's been one week. My nose is totally clear, I'm not coughing, but I have this sticky phlegm still stuck in my throat and if I sing on it, I'm straining and I know it.

Not acceptable.
I've been half marking half singing all week and I WANT to sing full out tomorrow, and I also want to wake up with none of this crap in my throat.

It's especially affecting the top, and in THIS case of the show, since we're doing the scenes a step up, it's making my regularly very easy G sound like a not-as-easy A or B.

The F's are still easily there, but they also don't feel amazing.

Can you please give me my regular throat and voice back?

06 May, 2010


This is the 911th post, and it sure looks like this blog needs some emergency resuscitation.

WELL- the update.
Tonight is the first night since April 24th that I will not do my three miles on the elliptical or the treadmill. I've been super good (well, exercise-wise, not so much eating-wise...on the road and all), and I am giving myself a day off. So there.

The show is STAGED. And re-staged and tweaked and tightened...wow, sounds like some sort of machine that should be in the garage that you repair on weekends.

But anyway. It's good. And I mean- challenging, dramatic, so many things to think about good.

A few things:
Costumes are vintage 1930s. This means I shouldn't eat for the next three 15 days before opening so that those flowy lanky long, NON-A-Line dresses look good.
I have a LOT of costumes, including a wedding dress- which is funny because I was thinking to myself- maybe if it's really pretty...I can buy it for my self! But, no, it's period also- long sleeves, train, and all...so, not really my style.

More things to say about character the arc, the colleagues, but right now. It's my night off...from everything. Really tired and tomorrow is the first stumble-through/work-through..and so I will shut up, drink my water, have my mucinex (oh yea, my allergies are INSANE here and they have NEVER been bad before ever)...and hope that by tomorrow the high g will feel easy breezy and beautiful...not like I'm trying to drive a mac truck up my vocal cords.

01 May, 2010


For some reason I'm not feeling very bloggy YET about the mad scene staging. It actually went really really well (we got to everything but the Spargi), and I am feeling inspired, with a lot of good choices that I get to make and to see how they take me in the arc of both that aria and the entire piece.

Maybe once the whole thing is staged I can do a line by line emotional/physical staging breakdown..for my own character exploration purposes.

But in the meantime, clocked 4 miles in on the treadmill today- and actually JOGGED 2 of them...well, ok it was only going at a 12 minute mile..but still...I speed-walked half a mile, jogged a mile, speed walked a bit more, and then did another mile, and then warmed down.

I am not ready to write about fitness goals here just yet, because truthfully, I'm not feeling or seeing anything different besides the fact that I can JOG 12 minutes without feeling like my chest is imploding in on me and I'm having a massive asthma and panic attack all rolled into one...

But what I would REALLY like is if I could keep this 30-40 minute a day thing going...and get 3 miles in daily plus my situps and pushups.
It's NOT a lot, but it's something. I think it's manageable, and I will try.
That is all for now.